Thursday, May 30 2024

Welcome to an exclusive interview with Alex Wellkers, the musical mind behind the enthralling album ‘Fly Away.’ Hailing from the picturesque city of Zurich, Switzerland, Alex embarked on his musical journey back in 2014. From his early days playing the accordion to his current prowess on the electric guitar, Alex has developed a sound that blends classical instrumentation with the raw energy of rock music. Today, we delve into the creative process behind his latest album and explore the eclectic mix of influences that shape his music.

Thanks for joining us Alex and congratulations on the new album! Can you tell us what inspired the choice of the album title ‘fly away,’ and how does it relate to the essence of the music and themes explored on the album?

The metaphor is taken from the lyrics of the opener of the first album. Making music can be seen as a way to get busy in your free time. Which is the case. But, on the other hand, there is always some hope. As a musician, you want people to listen to and like your music. And in the end, everyone wants to have at least some success with what one does. Maybe, one day, people will listen to this music. It’s illusionary and, if you’re down-to-earth, you know well that the chances are pretty much zero that this will happen. But, dreams and hope belong to life and if such a dream came through, ‘fly away’ might stand for the take off.

Could you tell us about the journey from your early musical influences to the creation of your second album? How has your musical style evolved over time?

In my early years, I used to do some freestyle Rap in Swiss German. I also used to listen to all kinds of music just like I do today. Even at around 2014, when I mainly listened to the music by Oasis, I listened to Hip Hop, Pop and sometimes French music. You can hear that in the last song of the album. The song is in Swiss-German, French and English. However, the main influence comes from bands like QOTSA but I like it a bit more poppy sometimes.

Alex Wellkers 1

‘fly away’ features a blend of classical instrumentation and rock music. What inspired this fusion, and how do you believe it enhances the listening experience?

I try to make my music a bit of everything. I like the recordings on ‘Urban Hymns’ by The Verve. ‘Sonnet’ is such a clean and nice recording. I was also influenced by the music of Brian Warner and still like the early recordings by Evanescence. In 2014, on the first EP, there is an acoustic guitar and a vocal track only. I then added further instruments, experimented a lot. At first, I kept the programmed instruments for the final release. But, over time, I started to add this and that – a violin, a viola etc. recorded by session musicians the way I programmed them. More and more instruments were added and, in the end, I combined them all. Also, I try to stay unpredictable by switching music styles. Nevertheless, it’s still more a try than anything else. But I keep on trying.

‘fly away’ utilises a mix of musical styles, spanning from acoustic to hip-hop. How did you ensure cohesion while navigating these diverse genres?

I might be the cohesion. A guy who does what he likes without prejudices. I produce and listen to the music that I like. I get my inspirations from all kinds of artists. Cleopatrick, RATM, Primitive Lyrics, Die Ärzte, Dr. Dre, NAS. I don’t care about their origin, why should I? It’s the music that counts, at least for me. Artistically, the lead vocals might make the music recognisable.

Your album features tracks in multiple languages, appealing to wider audiences. How do you decide which language to use for each song, and how does this choice influence your approach to songwriting and composition?

My main language is always English, I like English a lot, it’s a global language. But, I can not hide my accent and most people will notice that my native language is not English when I sing in English. However, French is a global language as well and is definitely a very beautiful language. In my youth, I have been to France twice for a couple of weeks to improve my French skills but, unfortunately, later, I rarely used it in my every day life. Thus, even though I know the grammar, I forgot most words which is a pity. But one day, instead of continuing to write all songs in English, I started to write some songs in German and French. For me, switching languages for some songs is just a strategy to make a produced album a bit more interesting. Anyway, songs by Smashing Pumpkins and Alice In Chains are in English. And if you try to reach something and hope for something bigger, English is the language of choice.

Alex Wellkers 2

‘fly away’ incorporates collaborations with different session musicians. How did these collaborations influence the overall sound and vision of the album, and what was your experience like working with them?

It varies a lot. Some session musicians play exactly what I programmed, respectively, what I composed. Some play something more independent that suits the song and is in the right key. And, some play things that are not even in the key of the song. I usually get about double the takes that I finally use in the song but that’s part of the creative process. I just take the parts that I like or I believe suit the song. I am a fan of instruments that are in tune and some parts, especially chorus parts, have to be in key. Some classical session musicians play very virtuosically. There are cases where such parts fit the song fine. There are cases where I can not use it because it’s too much. It’s a quest for the right tracks, I see it as a creative search. And yes, what and how session musicians play the instruments, influences this process a lot. The outcome is always different.

And, finally a question for fun… If ‘fly away’ were the soundtrack to a movie, what genre would the movie be, and what would be the central theme or plot?

A mixture of Cast Away, Inception, In the Heart of the Sea and Romeo & Juliet. The story would be about love and the sea.

And that concludes our conversation with Alex Wellkers, the driving force behind the album ‘Fly Away.’ With its fusion of classical elements and contemporary rock vibes, ‘Fly Away’ provides an exhilarating musical journey. From ballads to grunge rock epics, Alex’s eclectic style is certainly one to behold. We eagerly anticipate the next chapter in Alex’s musical odyssey and the stories it will undoubtedly unveil. Until then, stay tuned and keep up to date with Alex through his social channels.

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About Author

Matt Warren

Matt Warren is a Cheshire based musician who studied contemporary music and composition. When not writing for The Indie Grid he enjoys watching 'Breaking Bad' on continuous loop and going to gigs. Since a youngster his fave band have been 'The Beatles' (with 'Cardiacs' in at a close second)... and this still applies to this day.

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